Samantha at 20

canterbury cathedral walkway

Dear Samantha at 20, I’m sitting here 10 years from now thinking of you. I know 2010 is a hard year for you, and that you feel crushed beneath so much weight. At times, you wonder if you’re a shell of a person; not enough for anyone. I want you to know that I’m holding your hand across the years. And I can tell you there’s a lot ahead that will surprise those thoughts.

S.A. Borders-Shoemaker sitting on windowsill at Canterbury Cathedral courtyard
Canterbury Cathedral

You feel like dreams are to be hidden, lest they get trampled by reality. I want you to know that dream of being an author, the one you think is dead in the water, is just asleep. You have a gift that can’t be taken. Those poems you write are life-giving. Don’t ignore the love of words. Trust me, you’ll need it.

You will write three books and a Ph.D. dissertation before you end the decade! More than that, you also will live in the UK like you’ve always wanted, alongside the West Bank, the UAE, and get to move to Washington, D.C. The goal of being a historian will change, but your passion for people will not. Love will find you when you least expect it; and don’t worry, you’ll be ready. That also includes that corgi you always wanted. And yes, you’ll be obsessed.

I want you to know that you really are talented and brave. The years to come over the next decade will show you the resilience of your spirit. I can’t promise the road is easy, but know I’m proud of you all the same. You’ll come out on the other side a stronger woman, knowing better just what that means.

And yeah, there’s a pandemic too in 2020, but you’ll handle that as well. 😆 Didn’t say it would be easy!

Lastly, know that you’ll actually see Sting write and perform in a play, just like you always said he should. And you’ll drive from Virginia to Toronto to see it (yes, that city in Canada). It’s phenomenal, I promise.

Keep being you. Staying true to yourself will help you get through the next decade.

Love, Samantha (at 30)

4 thoughts on “Samantha at 20

  1. Tammera Missel says:

    Wow! I enjoyed reading this, especially given circumstances of COVID 19. You are truly an inspiration! 💜

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